Yellowknife, Hay River, Fort Smith make more municipal closures
Yellowknife’s city hall and dump will remain closed on Thursday and not reopen until further notice, while Fort Smith and Hay River closed their town halls.
The communities had already announced the closure of a range of recreational facilities as the coronavirus pandemic triggers increasingly restrictive measures.
Earlier on Wednesday, the NWT government declared a public health emergency to free up more resources. There remain no confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the territory.
The City of Yellowknife said its municipal headquarters and dump would be reduced only to essential staff from Thursday, with no public access. Other employees will work from home.
“Contractors may continue to access the solid waste facility during regular business hours, Monday through Friday, and the City will continue residential and commercial waste and organics collection,” a statement read.
“All essential City services are continuing and residents can still contact the City.”
The City is also looking at the possibility of waiving penalties on any late payments. There is, as yet, no confirmed action on that front. Residents are “encouraged to keep their accounts current” using online services, banks, or mailing cheques, or using the City Hall drop box, the City said.
Mayor Rebecca Alty said in a statement it was “uplifting to see Yellowknifers taking the situation seriously and supporting one another while these tough decisions are being made.”
She added: “Continue to look after yourselves and one another.”
Fort Smith closed its town hall to the public on Wednesday afternoon, urging residents to contact the municipality by phone, email, or a drop box.
“Town staff will remain in the office and answering the phones,” read a statement.
Hay River similarly announced its town hall would be closed until at least April 14.
“Several Town of Hay River processes are supported through electronic means. The use of electronic bill payment options through your financial institutions is encouraged,” read a statement.
“Residents can subscribe for email delivery of utility bills by contacting Town Hall. Other permits, licences and certificates can be completed and submitted electronically.”